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  #1  
Old 02-25-2011, 06:03 AM
drummindan8484 drummindan8484 is offline
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Default Floor tom tuning issue

About a month ago I bought a pack of Evans EC2's for my toms after attempting to tune the stock heads which ruined the tone of them. The Evans heads worked wonders for the overall sound of the kit, however, my floor tom seems to go "out of tune" more so than the mounted toms. I haven't had to retune the mounted toms at all since changing the heads, but the floor tom for some reason doesn't hold exactly where I want it. Since I still haven't changed the stock resonant head, would this help? My band has our first gig next month so I want this thing to sound good.
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  #2  
Old 02-25-2011, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

It sounds like perhaps some of your tension rods fit in the slots so smooth that there's no friction to keep them in place. I had a drum that had two lugs like this, and I solved it by finding nuts for the offending tension rods, and then tightening those against the lug when the tuning was set.

Some snare drummers suffered this on their snares when they kept pounding in one place - the tension rods at that point would tend to loosen up.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
It sounds like perhaps some of your tension rods fit in the slots so smooth that there's no friction to keep them in place. I had a drum that had two lugs like this, and I solved it by finding nuts for the offending tension rods, and then tightening those against the lug when the tuning was set.

Some snare drummers suffered this on their snares when they kept pounding in one place - the tension rods at that point would tend to loosen up.
Bo, that's the best idea I've heard in a long time. Sort of a small Jam Nut to speak. I was gonna say "Tight Screw" since I put some on my snare recently. I'm gonna pick some up and try.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by Nodiggie View Post
Bo, that's the best idea I've heard in a long time. Sort of a small Jam Nut to speak. I was gonna say "Tight Screw" since I put some on my snare recently. I'm gonna pick some up and try.
I can't take credit for the idea. I've seen guys do that for a long time, and Stan at Pro Drum was the one who put some on one of my drums when it was having that problem. If you do this though, you'll want to be sure to make sure you can find nuts that match the thread pitch of your tension rods - so this would make it difficult to find these types of nuts at say, Home Depot. You'll probably have to start at a drum shop first.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:31 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

Haha, same problem here too, and with the EC2s on my floor tom. I had them all snug and sounding good, got to a gig and about 3 of them had backed all the way out lol! It's a cheap, old kit though so i just tightened them back down and now they seem to be okay. not great, but okay.

new set this week anyhow, so i'm not going to worry much about it. i like those ec2 heads though. nice, warm tone that can be a bit punchy when you need them to be.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:37 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I can't take credit for the idea. I've seen guys do that for a long time, and Stan at Pro Drum was the one who put some on one of my drums when it was having that problem. If you do this though, you'll want to be sure to make sure you can find nuts that match the thread pitch of your tension rods - so this would make it difficult to find these types of nuts at say, Home Depot. You'll probably have to start at a drum shop first.
No problemo, been in Maintenance for over 25years so I understand fully. We have a specialty fastener shop here in town. I will gage the pitch and try some. thx man
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by Skwerly View Post
Haha, same problem here too, and with the EC2s on my floor tom. I had them all snug and sounding good, got to a gig and about 3 of them had backed all the way out lol! It's a cheap, old kit though so i just tightened them back down and now they seem to be okay. not great, but okay.

new set this week anyhow, so i'm not going to worry much about it. i like those ec2 heads though. nice, warm tone that can be a bit punchy when you need them to be.
I tried those EC2's and thought they were great for that one kind of sound. I usually like my heads to go from ringy to thuddy depending on what I'm going for, but the EC2's just gave me that pre-EQ'd jazz fusion-y sound. It sounds great when other guys use 'em, but just not my cup of tea. Too many years playing nothing but coated Ambassadors or something... I'm glad you're diggin' 'em.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

It's taken me a while, but they are growing on me. We'll see. The new set comes with completely different heads so I'm in a whole other ball game next week. :P

I have kept a G1 head on the set for comparison, just to see how the same toms sound side by side with another head. The g1 is definitely brighter and ringier, but it's also a tad louder at the same time which is good for live play, but i must say i think i like the tone of the EC2s a tad better. At least for now. :)
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2011, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

i kind of approach tuning as if i were a guitarist.

i wouldn't play my guitar out of tune, so i don't play my drums out of tune. it's something you have to deal with.

or you can get lug locks
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2011, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

What everyone else said ... and... change the resonant head to something good. Peace and goodwill.
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  #11  
Old 02-26-2011, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

http://www.luglock.com/luglock.htm

Great product, I've been using them for decades.
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2011, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by specgrade View Post
http://www.luglock.com/luglock.htm

Great product, I've been using them for decades.
Those are a great idea!!! Such a simple design..where they touch the rim..that isn't going to affect sound much will it?

Other than that, hell, I'll make those!
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2011, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

The fact that your floor tom is detuning imo has nothing to do with lugs. You guys are trying to tune the tom too low and thus detuning occurs. Try tuning your batter up a bit and tune your reso lower much like a bass drum tuning. Do this and you will get what you want.
Rack toms like 10, 12 are the opposite batter is slightly lower pitch than reso or both are the same.
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  #14  
Old 02-26-2011, 09:02 PM
drummindan8484 drummindan8484 is offline
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

I tune them both to the same pitch, but I tried tuning a little higher and it seems to be better.
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  #15  
Old 02-26-2011, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

I use the Jeff Ocheltree method on my toms whereby I pitch my reso's "wayyy up!" as Jeff would say, and tune my batters low (ensuring the pitch intervals between batter and reso are relative) I've found this works for my particular drums (Premier Club circa 1980 three ply shells, two ply re-ring). That method may or may not work for you depending on what drums you have.

Just my input,

Kev

Edit: I should mention I'm using Remo Emperor coateds on the batters and Ambassador clears on the resos.
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  #16  
Old 02-26-2011, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by K.Howden View Post
I use the Jeff Ocheltree method on my toms whereby I pitch my reso's "wayyy up!" as Jeff would say, and tune my batters low (ensuring the pitch intervals between batter and reso are relative) I've found this works for my particular drums (Premier Club circa 1980 three ply shells, two ply re-ring). That method may or may not work for you depending on what drums you have.

Just my input,

Kev

Edit: I should mention I'm using Remo Emperor coateds on the batters and Ambassador clears on the resos.
if you tune both heads the same it'll reso a lot longer and sometimes overtones come into play. that's why they recommend a tad higher on the reso than the batter, because the different frequencies won't allow the reverberation to go forever. also helps with snare buzz. :)
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by drummindan8484 View Post
I tune them both to the same pitch, but I tried tuning a little higher and it seems to be better.
You could offset by tuning your reso higher but I wouldn't, I would experiment the other way in order to get a lower pitch from the drum. Tune your reso lower still (very small increments) and see what you get, you will get more bottom from the drum.
I've had success with this and doing it for a long time. Kick drum and floor tom having a higher batter pitch and rack toms having a lower batter pitch or equal in pitch.
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  #18  
Old 03-01-2011, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

It's probably the way the head is constructed. Don't forget to overtighten the head and leave it that way for awhile (24 hours is recommended) to seat it properly and push down in the center while you are tightening it. That usually gets rid of uneven head tensioning problems. Then tension it back down to wrinkle and try to tune it for good. Guitarists do this with strings, too.

On the subject of batter and reso equalling or differing in tuning, if they equal, you get a very long sustain or resonant open sound. Tensioning the bottom higher will give a more succinct or punchier sound, if that is what you want (Jeff Ochletree/John Bonham/Big Band Jazz style). I like it myself. Beware, though that when you tune the reso higher, it will sound good in ranges that are in musical harmonics with the batter and dead in ranges that are not. So you will go through some ranges that make the drum just sound like crap. You can normally go higher with the reso and get out of those ranges, though. I do like Ochletree suggests and keep my resos a good bit higher than the batters.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by Strangelove View Post
I like it myself. Beware, though that when you tune the reso higher, it will sound good in ranges that are in musical harmonics with the batter and dead in ranges that are not.
I think that's such an important thing that's overlooked with tuning!

lot of people I speak to say they don't tune their heads to specific pitches because it's either too much hassle or isn't needed. I disagree with that whole heartedly with that way of thinking, as like any other instrument it produces specific pitches at specific tensions that each have specific frequency (440hz for a A pitch example) and as you say if those frequencies clash harmonically the drum won't sound as pleaseant as it would if the heads were harmonically relative.

Hope everyone is well,

Kev
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.Howden View Post
I think that's such an important thing that's overlooked with tuning!

lot of people I speak to say they don't tune their heads to specific pitches because it's either too much hassle or isn't needed. I disagree with that whole heartedly with that way of thinking, as like any other instrument it produces specific pitches at specific tensions that each have specific frequency (440hz for a A pitch example) and as you say if those frequencies clash harmonically the drum won't sound as pleaseant as it would if the heads were harmonically relative.

Hope everyone is well,

Kev
This is what seperates a good tuning from a great tuning. The notes each head sings compared to the note that the opposite head sings......this is where you really dial in your sound. This is where an experienced tuner goes the extra miles to get a great tuning. If you stop when you get the heads evenly tensioned, you really didn't finish tuning your drum. You have to make the different notes compliment one another. I use octaves. My reso is a full octave above my batter.
The "dead" zones that drums go through while bringing the heads up to tension....that phenomonen is known as phase cancellation aka comb filtering. All drum tuners need to understand this physical phenomonen that happens when sound waves from different sources collide. Frequencies can and do cancel each other out, resulting in a dead sounding drum. (if the drum is tuned within the "dead" zone. Tuning one head differently will move it beyond that zone). Put me down as a much tighter reso tuner too. The drums sound better and carry further unmiced to my ear.
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  #21  
Old 03-11-2011, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
My reso is a full octave above my batter.
Hey, whatever works for you is great and I'm not saying it's wrong, but in the circles I have seen and know from great tuners and sound engineers, the resonant tuned an octave higher than the top is extreme and virtually impossible on smaller toms. A piano tuner once told me that a minor third interval has the least amount of harmonics associated with it. What does that mean? That means that there will likely be less overtones to deal with if the heads are tuned a minor third apart, with the higher pitched head being the resonant head. Many great drummers and sound techs that I know of tune in this manner or somewhere very close. It works great. There would be no way I could crank my resonant head up an octave above my top head on any of my drums smaller than 14". It just won't allow that much tension and it's just not appropriate IMO.

I have been tuning for years with the bottom head a minor third (3 notes or half steps) higher than the top and I play all of my toms wide open and miked up and I rarely need gates. They have the perfect amount of sustain and the higher bottom head really makes the drum's sound jump out.

If you go to the Jeff Ocheltree video on tuning the Bonham kit when he strikes the toms with a mallet, you can hear the notes the heads are tuned to. The bottom heads are tuned very close to a minor third to a third above the tops. Interesting.
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  #22  
Old 03-11-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

I have done so much tuning and head changes over the last year that the optimal pitches for my 12, 13 and 16 are engraved into my senses and I can literally tune
each drum in less than 5 minutes.

Nothing compares to just spending time tuning your drums over and over again.
Over time, you learn where their sweet spot is and in my case
I have it down to a specific amount of lug turns for each drum to get
"in the ballpark" there is always a small amount of fine tuning: matching
lug pitches.

In matching lug pitches I don't even get all that critical anymore
It can be hard to distiguish actual pitch at each lug so I took a different route and started listening for when the head starts to "sing"

I have learned the the lug pitches do not need to be exact and that
when the head rings out with a nice clear even tone: STOP.

I tune my floor tom reso first aiming for the first clear note (lowest possible note)
then do the same for the batter.

The end result just happens to fall into fairly exact pitches:
12" - B
13" - F#
16" - B
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

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Originally Posted by Spectron View Post
The end result just happens to fall into fairly exact pitches:
12" - B
13" - F#
16" - B

I use a pitch pipe and have been tuning my toms to notes for decades. That enables me to dial my drums in perfectly in minutes, and they sound great. For me, I find that it is critical to have the lug pitches match to avoid warbly overtones. I also tune my resonant heads 3 notes higher than the top, with the top head in its sweet spot. I have a 12" mounted tom, and 14" and 16" floor toms. The notes are 12/G 14/D# 16/C. I like a bigger pitch difference between my first and second tom, so there is a third between them and a minor third between the floor toms.

The reason why I highlighted part of the above post is that there is only an inch difference in diameter between the two toms, yet there is a significant pitch difference between them (a fourth). It is very difficult to get that big of a pitch difference between toms with only an inch difference in diameter without one of them being tuned either below or above its sweet spot. There is a 6 note difference between the 13" and 16" tom. That would make more sense because there is a 3" difference in diameters of the drums. Judging by the notes and sizes of drums, the 13" tom and 16" tom would be in a desirable "sweet spot" range. The 12"...not so sure, that seems high to me. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Spectron's tuning, I'm just baffled at how he can get that big of a seperation in pitch from a 12" and 13" without that 12" being cranked up a bit higher than the drum's actual sweet spot.
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  #24  
Old 03-13-2011, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by specgrade View Post
http://www.luglock.com/luglock.htm

Great product, I've been using them for decades.
I also use the lug locks, but Todd Sucherman has a DVD out where in which he mentions using Blue-Lock Tight on the lugs It has to be the blue-lock tight because it does not have a permanent bond. I know he's playing with Styx so I would think that hes hitting pretty hard. Has anyone out there tried it on curious to find out how it worked.
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  #25  
Old 06-24-2011, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

Most tension rods are 12/24 thread. DW is 5mm. Hardware stores like Ace usually carry nuts in these sizes. Also, there are a few auto parts stores that still keep a wide selection of nuts, bolts, screws, and other assorted hardware.

If you cannot find the nuts in any of the above stores, go to: www.mcmaster.com. This is the web site for McMaster-Carr, located in California. They have just about everything !!
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Floor tom tuning issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21 View Post
I use a pitch pipe and have been tuning my toms to notes for decades. That enables me to dial my drums in perfectly in minutes, and they sound great. For me, I find that it is critical to have the lug pitches match to avoid warbly overtones. I also tune my resonant heads 3 notes higher than the top, with the top head in its sweet spot. I have a 12" mounted tom, and 14" and 16" floor toms. The notes are 12/G 14/D# 16/C. I like a bigger pitch difference between my first and second tom, so there is a third between them and a minor third between the floor toms.

The reason why I highlighted part of the above post is that there is only an inch difference in diameter between the two toms, yet there is a significant pitch difference between them (a fourth). It is very difficult to get that big of a pitch difference between toms with only an inch difference in diameter without one of them being tuned either below or above its sweet spot. There is a 6 note difference between the 13" and 16" tom. That would make more sense because there is a 3" difference in diameters of the drums. Judging by the notes and sizes of drums, the 13" tom and 16" tom would be in a desirable "sweet spot" range. The 12"...not so sure, that seems high to me. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Spectron's tuning, I'm just baffled at how he can get that big of a seperation in pitch from a 12" and 13" without that 12" being cranked up a bit higher than the drum's actual sweet spot.
cdrums21,

I have my 16" Floor tom tuned to a C also. Does your pitch pipe have that low of a C note on it? I've had to use my piano or keyboard to get a lower C note to match the tone.
Where can I locate one of these pitch pipes?
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